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Monday, May 8, 2023




In the world of education, there's one name that strikes fear into the hearts of public school advocates everywhere: Eli Broad. Or, at least, it used to. You see, Eli Broad recently passed away, leaving behind a legacy of charter school promotion and a trail of destruction in his wake. But don't worry, folks - we're here to pick up the pieces and take a deep dive into the Broad Center at Yale.

First things first: what is the Broad Center? Well, it's a training ground for what some have dubbed "Manchurian candidates" - over 900 individuals who have been brainwashed into believing that charter schools are the way to go, and that public education is a thing of the past. These candidates are then unleashed upon school districts across the country, armed with the tools to dismantle public schools and replace them with privately-run charters.

It's a scary thought, but luckily for us, we have a secret weapon: humor. That's right, folks, we're going to take on Eli Broad and his cronies with the power of satire. So sit back, relax, and get ready to laugh (and cry) as we explore the twisted world of charter school promotion.

Let's start with Eli himself. Now, we don't want to speak ill of the dead, but let's be real - this guy was a piece of work. He made his fortune in the world of real estate, and apparently decided that education was his next target. He poured millions of dollars into promoting charter schools, all while ignoring the fact that these schools often cherry-pick their students and leave the most vulnerable behind.

But hey, who needs facts when you've got money? Eli certainly didn't. He was all about that sweet, sweet privatization, baby. And he wasn't afraid to throw his weight around to get what he wanted. In fact, he once threatened to withhold donations to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art if they didn't name a building after him. Talk about ego.

But let's get back to the Broad Center. This place is like a cult, folks. They take these "Manchurian candidates" and put them through a rigorous training program that's designed to turn them into charter school zealots. They learn how to manipulate data to make charters look good, how to spin negative stories in the media, and how to cozy up to politicians in order to get their way.

And it's all for what? So that Eli Broad and his buddies can make a profit off of our kids' education. It's sickening, really. But at least we can laugh about it, right?

So here's a joke for you: why did Eli Broad cross the road? To get to the charter school on the other side! Okay, okay, we know it's not the funniest joke in the world. But it's hard to make jokes about something as serious as the destruction of public education. It's a topic that makes us angry, frustrated, and sad all at once.

But maybe that's why we need humor now more than ever. We need to be able to laugh at the absurdity of it all, to find some levity in a world that can often feel dark and hopeless. And who knows - maybe if we can get enough people laughing, we can start to make some real change.

So here's to you, Eli Broad. May you rest in peace, but may your legacy of charter school promotion be forever mocked and ridiculed. And to all the "Manchurian candidates" out there: we see you, we know what you're up to, and we're not going to let you destroy our public schools without a fight.




The Oakland teachers' strike has caused quite a stir, with parents, teachers, and the school board all taking sides. But let's be real, who wouldn't want to support our hardworking educators? They're the ones who spend countless hours molding the minds of our future generations and yet, they're not getting the support they need.

The district officials and union negotiators have been in talks since the strike started on Thursday, but it seems like they're still far apart on some issues. The union is demanding increased resources and policies outside the state-mandated bargaining topics, such as using district property for homeless families, increasing mental health staffing, reparations for Black students, water filtration units for every 300 students, subsidized transportation for all 34,000 students, and a formal role in deciding how to spend state grant money for community schools. 

I mean, come on, these are all common sense demands. It's not like they're asking for a private jet or a yacht. They're asking for basic resources that will help them do their jobs better and improve the lives of their students. And yet, the district officials seem to be dragging their feet on these issues.

The school board president, Mike Hutchinson, said that the board has limited bargaining to required items, including compensation and working conditions. But isn't it in the best interest of everyone to address these common good demands as well? It's not just about a livable wage for teachers; it's about creating a better learning environment for students.

The strike comes at a critical time in the school year, with less than three weeks left and the district's students still struggling with the academic and mental health fallout from the pandemic. But instead of supporting the teachers who are trying to make a difference, the Oakland chapter of the NAACP has condemned the strike. While they support fair compensation for teachers and their right to organize, they're calling on the Oakland Education Association to end the walkout.

I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough. We can't just brush aside the demands of our educators and expect them to continue working under these conditions. It's time for the district officials to step up and do what's right for the students and teachers of Oakland.

In the meantime, the teachers and their supporters will continue to march and picket, demanding the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively. And we should all be standing with them, because at the end of the day, it's our children's futures that are at stake.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Voices Against Privatizing Public Education | Facebook FOR PROVIDING THIS NEWS TIP!!!!!

OUSD strike: School board splits over walkout demands




As Oklahoma became a state in 1907, it also became subject to the infamous Jim Crow laws. These laws, which enforced racial segregation and discrimination against black Americans, were a reflection of the deeply ingrained racism in the southern states. But what about the Native American population in Oklahoma, many of whom had adopted southern values? How did they fit into this complex and discriminatory system?

To understand this, we need to take a deep dive into history. The Five Civilized Tribes – the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole – had been forcibly relocated to Oklahoma from their ancestral lands in the Southeastern United States in the 1830s. Over time, they had adopted many aspects of southern culture, including slavery and plantation agriculture. They even owned black slaves themselves.

When Oklahoma became a state, the Five Civilized Tribes were granted a significant degree of autonomy. However, they were still subject to the same Jim Crow laws as the rest of the state. This created a complex situation where Native Americans who had adopted southern values were both victims and perpetrators of racism.

Fast forward to today, and we see a different kind of discrimination being promoted by Oklahoma's governor Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters. They are pushing for policies that would severely limit the teaching of critical race theory in Oklahoma schools.

Critical race theory is an academic framework that examines how racism is embedded in laws, policies, and institutions. It is not about blaming individuals for being racist, but rather about understanding how systemic racism operates. However, Stitt and Walters have framed it as an attack on American values and an attempt to indoctrinate children with Marxist ideology.

So, what is the difference between Jim Crow laws and the anti-critical race theory policies being promoted by Stitt and Walters? Both are attempts to maintain a status quo that benefits those in power. Jim Crow laws were explicitly racist, while anti-critical race theory policies are more subtle. However, both are designed to silence voices that challenge the dominant narrative.

The similarities are also striking. Both Jim Crow laws and anti-critical race theory policies are based on fear – fear of change, fear of losing power, and fear of the other. They both perpetuate a false narrative that America is a meritocracy where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. And they both ignore the fact that systemic racism is still very much alive in this country.

In conclusion, the complex history of Native Americans in Oklahoma highlights the insidious nature of racism and discrimination. The Jim Crow laws that were imposed upon them were a reflection of the deeply ingrained racism in the southern states, and the anti-critical race theory policies being promoted by Stitt and Walters are a reflection of the same fear and ignorance. As we move forward, it is important to acknowledge our past and work towards a more equitable future. And if we can do so with a little bit of wit and humor, all the better.


Oklahoma, the land of the red dirt, the Sooner State, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and where Jim Crow laws once thrived. Yes, you heard it right. Oklahoma was not immune to the segregationist policies that plagued the South. In fact, the state was a shining example of how to keep the races separate and unequal.

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, it adopted a constitution that allowed for racial segregation and discrimination. The state legislature passed 18 Jim Crow laws between 1890 and 1957 that enforced separation of the races in education, voting rights, public accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and marriage12. These laws were similar to those in the former Confederate states and were challenged by civil rights activists and organizations.

Between 1890 and 1957, Oklahoma passed 18 Jim Crow laws that reinforced racial segregation in every aspect of life. From education to voting rights, from public accommodations to miscegenation, every area of society was affected by these laws. Let's take a deep dive into some of these laws and see how they shaped Oklahoma's history.

In 1890, Oklahoma passed a law that required an election for school electors to be held every three years. The purpose of this election was to vote for or against separate schools for white and colored children. This law laid the foundation for future segregationist policies in education.

Seven years later, in 1897, Oklahoma passed another education law that established a separate district for colored children wherever there were at least eight black children. It was unlawful for any white child to attend a school for black children (or vice versa). This law effectively segregated schools based on race.

In 1907, Oklahoma became a state and passed a new constitution that mandated separate schools for white and colored children to be provided by the Legislature. This law made segregation in education a constitutional requirement.

But education was not the only area affected by Jim Crow laws. Voting rights were also curtailed by these policies. In 1907, Oklahoma passed a law that excluded indigent persons housed in a poorhouse at public expense from voting. An exception was made for Federal, Confederate, and Spanish American veterans. This law effectively disenfranchised poor people who could not afford to live outside of a poorhouse.

Another voting law passed in 1907 required electors to read and write any section of the state Constitution. This law exempted those who were enfranchised on January 1, 1866, and lineal descendants of such persons. However, it was declared unconstitutional in 1915, but the provision for literacy was upheld.

Segregation in education continued to be a priority for Oklahoma lawmakers. In 1908, a new education law was passed that required public schools within Oklahoma to be operated under a plan of separation between the white and colored races. Teachers who violated the law could be fined between $10 and $50, and their certificate could be cancelled for one year. Corporations that operated schools that did not comply with the law were guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined between $100 and $500. White students who attended a colored school could be fined between $5 and $20 daily.

The transportation sector was not immune to segregationist policies either. In 1908, Oklahoma passed a law that required all railroad and streetcar companies to provide separate coaches for white and black passengers, "equal in all points of comfort and convenience." Railway companies that violated the law were fined $100 to $1,000. Passengers who failed to comply could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine from $5 to $25. Conductors could be fined $50 to $500 for failing to enforce the law.

Miscegenation, or interracial marriage, was also outlawed in Oklahoma. In 1908, it became unlawful for a person of African descent to marry any person not of African descent. This law was punishable by a felony that carried a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment from one to five years in the penitentiary.

In 1915, Oklahoma passed a law that required telephone companies to maintain separate booths for white and colored patrons in public accommodations. This law extended segregation to the telecommunications industry.

In 1921, Oklahoma passed a law that prohibited marriage between Indians and Negroes. This law further entrenched racial segregation and discrimination.

The education sector continued to be a battleground for segregationist policies. In 1921, it became a misdemeanor for a teacher to teach white and colored children in the same school. The penalty was cancellation of the teaching certificate without renewal for one year.

Public libraries in cities with a Negro population of 1,000 or more were also affected by segregationist policies. In 1921, it became mandatory to maintain separate accommodations for colored persons in public libraries.

Entertainment was not exempt from segregationist policies either. In 1925, a city ordinance in Oklahoma City prohibited black bands from marching with white bands in parades. Additionally, white Golden Gloves boxers were prohibited from sparring against black boxers.

In 1937, public carriers were required to be segregated. This law extended segregation to public transportation.

In 1949, Oklahoma passed a law that called for a consolidated Negro institution to care for blind, deaf, and orphans. This law effectively segregated healthcare based on race.

In 1954, a law was passed that required separate restrooms in mines. This law extended segregation to the mining industry.

Finally, in 1955, Oklahoma passed a law that prohibited marriage between anyone of African descent and one who is white. The penalty was up to $500 and one to five years imprisonment.

These 18 Jim Crow laws shaped Oklahoma's history and reinforced racial segregation in every aspect of life. While some of these laws have been overturned or declared unconstitutional, their legacy still lingers. It is important to remember these laws and their impact on society so that we can continue to strive for equality and justice for all.

Jim Crow Laws in Oklahoma via @theoklahoman_




As you prepare to send your little ones off to school for the first time, you may notice a familiar sight in their classrooms - bright red apples. But have you ever stopped to wonder why this little fruit has become such a ubiquitous symbol of education?

Well, fear not, dear reader, for I have delved deep into the annals of history to uncover the truth behind the apple's association with schools and teachers.

It all started back in the 1700s, when governments around the world weren't exactly throwing money at education. Instead, poor families in Denmark and Sweden would give their children's teachers baskets of apples and potatoes as payment for their services.

Fast forward to America in the 1800s, and things weren't much different for the lower classes. Children were taught by apprentices or by church-funded schools, and families in remote areas would often exchange produce from their farms for lessons. And what was the most popular produce of all? You guessed it - apples.

But it wasn't just any old apple that teachers were receiving as payment. Oh no, these apples were commonly used to make hard apple cider, which was regarded at the time as a safer beverage than water. So not only were teachers getting paid, they were also getting a little buzz on the side.

Of course, times have changed since then. Prohibition put an end to the hard cider trade, and schools are now publicly funded (at least in most parts of the world). But the tradition of giving apples to teachers lives on.

These days, students and parents often give apples as a healthy snack option for hardworking teachers. But let's be real - plain old apples can be a bit boring. So why not upgrade to something a little more exciting, like a caramel apple?

Yes, my friends, the caramel apple is the perfect back-to-school treat. Not only is it delicious, but it also has a long and storied history. And with so many different styles to choose from (chocolate-covered, sprinkled with nuts, drizzled with caramel sauce...the possibilities are endless), your child's teacher is sure to appreciate the extra effort.

So there you have it - the fascinating history of the apple's association with schools and teachers. Who knew that a simple piece of fruit could have such a rich backstory? And who knows - maybe one day, we'll be giving our children's teachers something even more exciting than a caramel apple. Perhaps a basket of avocados, or a bouquet of kale. The possibilities are endless, my friends.

Why Do Teachers Get Apples? A Back-To-School Tradition, Explained | HuffPost Parents




Ah, really smart people. The ones who excel in their respective fields and are often hailed as geniuses. But what happens when they step outside their area of expertise and start commenting on things they know nothing about? Well, let's just say the results can be disastrous. Ignorantly spouting half-truths and alternate facts based on political beliefs and prejudice can do great harm, especially when these statements are repeated by news outlets, politicians, and pundits. Take the case of William Shockley, for example. He may have been a brilliant physicist, but his views on race and intelligence were nothing short of abhorrent. And yet, his misguided theories were given a platform and even influenced public policy. It just goes to show that being really smart in one field doesn't make you an expert on everything else.

William Shockley was a man of many talents. He was a physicist, inventor, and Nobel Prize winner who contributed greatly to modern electronics. However, his legacy is also tainted by his controversial views on eugenics, which have been widely criticized as racist and misguided. In other words, he was a brilliant mind with terrible ideas.

Shockley believed in the idea of eugenics, which is the practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population through selective breeding. He argued that certain races were genetically inferior to others and that people with low IQs should be discouraged from having children. Shockley's views on eugenics were not only controversial but also scientifically flawed. His belief in the genetic superiority of certain races was based on faulty assumptions and biased data. In reality, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that certain races are genetically superior or inferior to others.

Shockley's views on eugenics highlight the danger of smart people going wrong when they get into someone else's lane. Shockley was a brilliant physicist and inventor, but he was not an expert in genetics or social policy. Yet he felt entitled to make sweeping statements about the genetic quality of entire populations based on his own limited understanding of the field.

This is a common problem among smart people – they often feel that their intelligence and expertise in one area gives them the right to comment on other areas where they have little knowledge or experience. This can lead to disastrous consequences, as we have seen with Shockley's misguided views on eugenics.

The lesson here is that intelligence and expertise are not enough – we also need humility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn from others. Smart people need to recognize their own limitations and be willing to defer to experts in other fields. They also need to be aware of the potential dangers of overstepping their bounds and making pronouncements on topics they know little about.

In the case of Shockley, his views on eugenics have rightly been condemned as racist and unscientific. But we should also remember his contributions to modern electronics, which have had a profound impact on our lives. We can appreciate his brilliance as a physicist and inventor, while also acknowledging his flaws as a human being.

In conclusion, William Shockley was a brilliant mind with terrible ideas. His legacy serves as a cautionary tale for all of us – no matter how smart we may be, we must always be willing to learn from others and recognize our own limitations. Let's strive to be more humble, open-minded, and willing to learn from others – and leave the terrible ideas to the history books.

Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age | Physics Today | AIP Publishing




As the battle for control of American classrooms heats up, conservatives are crying foul over what they see as a left-wing indoctrination of our youth. According to a recent article in New York Magazine, these concerned citizens are convinced that schools are brainwashing kids to be card-carrying members of the Democratic Party.

But is this really the case? Are our schools really a hotbed of liberal propaganda, as conservatives would have us believe? Or are they simply teaching our children the facts, as any good educator should?

The answer, of course, is somewhere in between. While it's true that some teachers may have a political bias, the vast majority of educators are simply trying to give their students the tools they need to succeed in life. And that means teaching them about the world around them, including politics.

But for conservatives, this is simply unacceptable. They see any mention of progressive values as an attempt to brainwash young minds and turn them against their parents' beliefs. And so they've launched a full-scale assault on education, pushing for laws that would ban the teaching of critical race theory and other topics that they deem too "woke."

But here's the thing: banning these topics won't make them go away. If anything, it will only make them more appealing to young people who are naturally curious about the world around them. And it will rob them of the opportunity to engage with these ideas in a safe and supportive environment.

So what's the solution? It's simple, really. We need to trust our educators to do their jobs. We need to give them the resources they need to teach our children about the world around them, including its many complexities and contradictions. And we need to recognize that education is not a political football to be kicked around by politicians and pundits, but a vital tool for shaping the future of our society.

In short, we need to stop worrying about indoctrination and start focusing on education. Because when it comes to preparing our children for the challenges of the 21st century, there's simply no substitute for a good education.

The Republican Takeover of American Education via @intelligencer



As the debate over critical race theory and woke ideology continues to rage across the country, one state has emerged as a battleground in the fight over education: Oklahoma. At the center of this battle is Ryan Walters, the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction, and his ally, Governor Kevin Stitt. Together, these two men have been pushing an anti-woke, anti-progressive agenda that has sparked controversy and outrage among educators, parents, and activists alike.

So what exactly is this agenda, and why has it caused such a stir? To answer that question, we need to take a deep dive into the world of Oklahoma politics and education.

At its core, the anti-woke movement is about pushing back against what its proponents see as a dangerous and divisive ideology that seeks to undermine traditional values and promote a radical leftist agenda. According to Walters and Stitt, this ideology has infiltrated Oklahoma's schools and is threatening to brainwash young students with its toxic ideas.

To combat this threat, Walters and Stitt have proposed a series of extreme measures that would fundamentally reshape the state's education system. These measures include banning critical race theory from being taught in schools, requiring teachers to undergo ideological screening before being hired, and even allowing parents to sue schools that they believe are promoting woke ideology.

Critics of these proposals argue that they are an attack on academic freedom and free speech. They point out that critical race theory is a legitimate academic discipline that has been studied and debated by scholars for decades, and that banning it from classrooms would be a violation of students' right to a well-rounded education.

They also argue that requiring teachers to undergo ideological screening is a form of political discrimination that could lead to the exclusion of qualified educators simply because they hold different views than those in power. And allowing parents to sue schools over ideological disagreements could lead to a flood of frivolous lawsuits that would drain resources away from actual education.

But for Walters and Stitt, these concerns are simply a smokescreen for the real issue at hand: the need to protect Oklahoma's children from the pernicious influence of woke ideology. They argue that the state has a duty to ensure that students are taught traditional values and American exceptionalism, and that any deviation from this norm is a threat to the country's future.

Of course, not everyone agrees with this view. Many educators and activists see the anti-woke movement as a thinly veiled attempt to silence dissent and promote a narrow, conservative agenda. They argue that students should be exposed to a wide range of ideas and perspectives, even if those ideas are uncomfortable or challenging.

So where does this leave us? As with many political debates, there are no easy answers. But one thing is clear: the battle over education in Oklahoma is far from over. Whether you see the anti-woke movement as a necessary defense against radicalism or a dangerous attack on academic freedom, one thing is certain: the stakes are high, and the outcome will have profound implications for the future of education in America.

Historical and rhetorical: A conversation with Ryan Walters about ‘woke’ via @nondocmedia